Creating The Mask

Chris sketched the initial helmet for the “Man in the Mask” character that Joe Janswig of Errant Squire Productions created. The design needed to cover the entire head to hide the identity of the character. The top helmet pattern design was modeled after Japanese soldier’s helmet from the Late Edo Period. The back was covered with a drape to cover the neck and flow during the action sequences. This drape made the helmet flexible to not impinge on the head movement of the actor. The face was made to look expressionless. It was created by pressing leather onto a concrete mold. To finish the face piece it was dyed with ink and a sealant was applied to prevent water absorption. The leather pieces were then sewn together for the final form of the mask.

Clay mask mold.

Clay mold for the mask.

Joe’s most common leather making projects are sparing equipment; armor, shields, gauntlets, etc. He said, “I like to hit people with sticks and have an interest in martial arts.” Joe joined SCA, The Society for Creative Anachronism, Inc. to participate in competitive armored combat activities. His first glimpse into the sport was seeing Pennsic War fights on YouTube. After being hooked from those tournaments he created his first suit of armor in 1998. The armor was created by cutting a plastic barrel into plating and then fastening to upholstery leather. The design was based off a Wisby coat of plates.

Man in the Mask

Mask for the character “Man in the Mask”.

Two other leather projects Joe completed for Indefinite were treating the army vest and the leather pouch holding the vials. The army vest was originally dark green camouflage. The process took three treatments of black ink. For the leather pouch Joe added a small patch to cover a brand name. In addition he sewed in the vial holders. The above processes for the mask, dying the army vest, and adjusting the pouch totaled about two days of work. Most of the time spent was waiting for the ink to dry between steps.

Man in the Mask vest

Vest for the character “Man in the Mask”.

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